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Gay Marriage: Arguments Against California Proposition 8

Updated on June 26, 2013

Arguments Against California Prop 8, the Same-Sex Marriage Ban

For a short time in 2008, California law allowed same-sex couples to marry. About 18,000 gay couples were legally married after the California Supreme Court made it possible, but Prop 8, a November 2008 ballot measure, revoked that right. It was passed by 52% of the voters. Since then, there has been an ongoing legal battle over the constitutionality of the ballot measure.

The California Supreme Court upheld the proposition on the grounds that voters have the right to amend the constitution, but a federal judge later declared it unconstitutional. Federal Judge Vaugh Walker, however, stayed his own ruling. Rather than allowing gay marriages to resume immediately, the judge declared that no same-sex marriages could occur until both sides had a chance to appeal. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on February 7, 2012 that Judge Walker was correct and Prop. 8 is unconstitutional. However, the appeals court left Judge Walker's ban in place while the ruling was appealed. It is now before the US Supreme Court.

This page was created before the original vote on Prop 8 and still contains arguments against the initial ballot measure. Prop 8 was the most costly ballot measure in the country at the time it was passed, and emotions ran high on both sides of the debate. The main arguments in favor of the proposition were centered around the effects proponents said it could have on education and religion. The main arguments against it - which are presented here - were centered around equality and whether it would really have the detrimental effects on education, religion and traditional marriage that proponents predicted. This page asks you to think about the question of fairness and equality, and separation of church and state. Please read the excerpts from the California Supreme Court decision and the state Education Code and watch the related videos. Then see if you think California made the right decision.

NOTE: This page was created before the Prop 8 ballot measure was put to the voters in Nov 2008 and still contains information about the ballot fight.. But it has been updated to include information about the continuing legal battle for gay marriage in California. You'll find updates near the bottom of this page.

(Image credit: Lisa Howard)

The US Supreme Dismisses Prop 8 Case

On June 26, 2013, the US Supreme Court dismissed the Prop 8 case, opening the way for same-sex marriage to resume in California. First the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco will have to lift its stay on the original 2010 decision by U.S. District Judge Vaughn R. Walker that declared Proposition 8 unconstitutional.

Gay Marriage and Religious Freedom

What the California Supreme Court said in its initial ruling legalizing same-sex marriage

Prop 8 was placed on the ballot as a backlash to the California Supreme Court's ruling in May 2008 that the state must allow same-sex marriage.

That decision angered many religious people who felt it was an assault on their values, and the majority of people who supported Prop 8 did so out of religious convictions. Many arguments fell along the lines that same-sex relationships aren't "right" because, as gay opponents like to put it, "God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve," or "the Bible says so."

If Proposition 8 had been defeated, it would not have erased these religious views or asked anyone to stop believing them. Individuals and religious organizations would have been able to continue believing homosexuality is a sin or that same-sex marriage is wrong. But if Prop 8 is allowed to stand after all the legal arguments are finally done, the state constitution will continue to deny legal marriage rights to same-sex couples.

Ironically, at least a dozen Christian denominations already allow their clergy to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies. So same-sex couples HAVE the ability to get married in a church in California or elsewhere. What they don't have in California is the ability to have that marriage recognized by either the state or federal government.

Before the election, proponents of the measure suggested that churches could be forced to perform same-sex marriages or lose their tax-exempt status if they refuse. In fact, tax-exempt status is a federal issue controlled by the IRS, not the state, and the California Supreme Court specifically addressed the issue of religious leaders being "forced" to perform gay marriages in their ruling.

From the California Supreme Court decision:

"[A]ffording same-sex couples the opportunity to obtain the designation of marriage will not impinge upon the religious freedom of any religious organization, official, or any other person; no religion will be required to change its religious policies or practices with regard to same-sex couples, and no religious officiant will be required to solemnize a marriage in contravention of his or her religious beliefs."

To learn more about what the Supreme Court said, you can read the official Supreme Court press release or the entire Court opinion.

" religion will be required to change its religious policies or practices"

- from the state Supreme Court opinion legalizing same-sex marriage

Gay Marriage and the New Testament

The argument goes beyond Prop 8

The religious argument over gay marriage can't be resolved in one web page. Conservatives can point to scriptures such as 1 Corinthians 6:9 that lists those who will not inherit the kingdom of God, while liberals can point to scriptures such as Romans 14:13 and its instruction to "let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this - not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother's way."

For those who'd like to read more about differing viewpoints of New Testament scripture about homosexuality, you'll find some excellent essays at Religious, a site that attempts to provide objective information about a variety of religions and topics of interest to the public.

Another good reference is the California Council of Churches' Marriage Equality Study Guide, which was developed as a resource for religious congregations.

The ultimate decision about whether gay marriage will be allowed in California or elsewhere will be determined by judges, as it is a legal question about legal rights, not a theological question about religious values. The law cannot and will not change religious belief systems. It can only codify the parameters around the legal relationship of two people. What will the judges consider? Here are some thought-provoking questions about same-sex marriage.

1. Should a state constitution take away existing rights? Same-sex marriage became legal in California in May 2008 and thousands of couples were able to marry for the first time. Prop 8 took away that right. Is the state constitution a place to enshrine discrimination?

2. Has legalized same-sex marriage impacted your life negatively? Same-sex marriage has been legal in Massachusetts since 2003 and in Connecticut since November 2008. It is also legal nationwide in five countries, including Canada. So has it changed your life? Has it changed your religious beliefs or impacted your relationships? Has it made you think less of marriage in general?

3. What non-Biblical reason is there to deny legal status to couples who want to be financially and legally responsible to one another for the rest of their lives? If you can't think of a non-Biblical reason, are you comfortable allowing the Bible to be the basis of a legal right (or lack thereof)? Who determines how the Bible is interpreted? At least a dozen Jewish movements and mainstream Christian denominations already allow clergy to perform marriage or union ceremonies for same-sex couples. Why should the views of these denominations be any less valid?

4. If same-sex marriage should be denied because the Bible says it is a sin, what about other relationship sins? What about adultery? What about divorce? What about people who live together "in sin" before getting married? Should they all be denied legal marriage rights? And why is it ok to ignore some outdated ideas in the Bible - for instance, people who work on the Sabbath should be put to death and slavery is ok and beating your children is encouraged - but not others?

5. If same-sex couples aren't allowed to marry and the law doesn't recognize their relationship, if a couple who has been together 10 or 20 years is in a car accident and one of them is severely injured, who should make decisions for the injured person? Who should be allowed to visit him or her in the hospital? Who should be financially responsible if he or she can't afford the bill, but the long-time partner can? Should the state be responsible for making decisions for an adult in a committed, loving relationship because the law refuses to accept that person's relationship?

6. Ten states and the District of Columbia currently have laws that recognize same-sex relationships to varying degrees, although only five of these grant virtually equal rights to same-sex couples. However, these relationships are NOT recognized by states outside the one in which they are granted, and the federal government does not recognize these relationships at all. NO same-sex couple in this country, including those in the states with full domestic partnership/civil union rights, has the same rights as a straight married couple. Marriage for straight couples, on the other hand, is recognized by all states and the federal government. So a straight couple who is married in California can move to Kansas or Utah or West Virginia or anywhere else and have full rights. But if a same-sex couple from California is merely traveling out of state and suddenly needs emergency medical care (see question 5 above), their registered domestic partnership is not recognized at all. Do you think that's fair?

7. How does denying financial and legal rights and responsibilities to a same-sex couple advance the "sanctity of marriage"? How are financial and legal responsibilities related to religious beliefs?

8. How important is a word? Should gay couples have the same legal rights under a different name, such as civil union or domestic partnership? Or should the word "marriage" continue to be the legal term and "holy matrimony" be the religious term?

9. In Wisconsin, it is actually a crime for a same-sex couple to get legally married in another state or country where it is legal and then return home to Wisconsin. But it's not a crime in Wisconsin to have a religious marriage ceremony in that state or in any other because the couple is not entering into a legal contract. Does that make sense? Can you imagine a state telling a straight couple they can't go to Las Vegas to get married unless they want to face criminal charges when they return home?

Poll: Majority Now Favors Gay Marriage Rights

A new CNN poll finds that 49% of Americans believe gays and lesbians have a constitutional right to marry and have their marriage recognized by law, and 52% believe gays and lesbians should have the Constitutional right to marry. This is the first poll to show a majority of Americans in favor of same-sex marriage.

Miss California - A Song About Prop 8 - Melissa Etheridge's love affair with California dampened by Prop 8

Rocker Melissa Etheridge moved to California from Kansas when she was a young woman. But her love affair with the liberal golden state took a hit with the passage of Prop 8. "Miss California" is a track from her 2010 "Fearless Love" CD in which she laments, "Ooh, you've gone and left me for some preacher's way," and suggests, "Don't you know what's good for me can be good for you too?" Listen to a sample below.


What the California Supreme Court Said About Equality

Why "separate but equal" domestic partnerships are not equal

Even before the state Supreme Court legalized gay marriage in California, the state allowed same-sex couples to form legally binding domestic partnerships. Many people wonder why the state can't just continue to have two separate legal statuses, one for straights and one for gays. This is what the Supreme Court said in its May 2008 ruling that reiterated the idea that separate but equal is never equal.

From the Supreme Court ruling:

"While retention of the limitation of marriage to opposite-sex couples is not needed to preserve the rights and benefits of opposite-sex couples, the exclusion of same-sex couples from the designation of marriage works a real and appreciable harm upon same-sex couples and their children."

"...Furthermore, because of the historic disparagement of gay persons, the retention of a distinction in nomenclature by which the term "marriage" is withheld only from the family relationship of same-sex couples is all the more likely to cause the new parallel institution that has been established for same-sex couples to be considered a mark of second-class citizenship. Finally, in addition to the potential harm flowing from the lesser stature that is likely to be afforded to the family relationships of same-sex couples by designating them domestic partnerships, there exists a substantial risk that a judicial decision upholding the differential treatment of opposite-sex and same-sex couples would be understood as validating a more general proposition that our state by now has repudiated: that it is permissible, under the law, for society to treat gay individuals and same-sex couples differently from, and less favorably than, heterosexual individuals and opposite-sex couples."

Liberal Justices?

Six of the seven justices on the CA Supreme Court were appointed by Republican governors

Republicans Against Prop 8 - Don't Take California Backwards

1138 Legal Marriage Rights

That's the number of federal rights, benefits and privileges granted to married couples

In 2004, the US Government Accountability Office prepared a document listing the 1,138 federal statutory provisions in which marital status is a factor in determining or receiving benefits, rights, and privileges. Same-sex couples in ALL states, including those that have domestic partner laws and those in the five states that now allow same-sex marriage, are denied these rights.

TIME Magazine has an article noting how same-sex couples in committed relationships are negatively impacted by being denied these rights.

Marriage is a Legal Contract

Legal rights for having a religious marriage ceremony - 0

Federal legal rights for signing a state-sanctioned legal marriage license - 1138

Help the Budget Deficit; Legalize Gay Marriage!

Same-sex marriage is not only a financial issue for couples, but for the government as well

One of the most interesting statistics I've come across regarding the financial impact of not allowing gay marriage under federal law comes from the Congressional Budget Office:

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that on net, (the impact of allowing same-sex marriage) would improve the budget's bottom line to a small extent: by less than $1 billion in each of the next 10 years

The CBO may consider $1 billion to be a "small extent," as it's a small fraction of the overall federal budget, but that's still a big number. By the federal government's own analysis, keeping gay marriage illegal is costing ALL U.S. taxpayers $1 billion. Gives you something to think about, eh?

Permission to Marry

This video was made long before Proposition 8 was added to the November ballot in California, but still raises a good question.

Has Ellen DeGeneres' Marriage Affected You?

In this short clip, Ellen DeGeneres talks about getting married and encourages voters to vote no on Prop 8. About 18,000 same-sex couples like Ellen and Portia were married in California in the period between the first state Supreme Court ruling and the passage of Prop 8. Think about this - has Ellen's marriage negatively impacted your marriage and family? Prevented anyone else from marrying? Encouraged others to get divorced? Or changed your religious views?

Or did you even notice or care that she got married???

6 Arguments in Favor of Marriage Equality

A well-written blog post against Prop 8

I came across an excellent blog post on MOMocrats that gives six arguments in favor of marriage equality. These include civil rights, civil liberty, economics, freedom of choice, life cycle decisions, and separation of church and state. It's well written and worth a read.

Prop 8 and the California Education Code

What the Ed Code says about marriage

Prop 8's impact on education was one of the main issues of the campaign. The Yes on 8 campaign argued, "...schools will now be required to teach students that gay marriage is the same as traditional marriage, starting with kindergarteners." (From the website)

They cited California Education Code Section 51890 to support this claim. However, even before the election, a judge ruled that this claim was misleading, and the State Superintendent of Public Instruction told The Chronicle, "...(legalized gay marriage) just isn't going to require any kind of teaching of personal relationships or lifestyle."

Here is what the relevant section of the code says:

51890. (a) For the purposes of this chapter, "comprehensive health education programs" are defined as all educational programs offered in kindergarten and grades 1 to 12, inclusive, in the public school system, including in-class and out-of-class activities designed to ensure that:

(1) Pupils will receive instruction to aid them in making decisions in matters of personal, family, and community health, to include the following subjects:

...(D) Family health and child development, including the legal and financial aspects and responsibilities of marriage and parenthood.

In August 2008, Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Timothy Frawley ruled that Prop 8 supporters must remove wording from their official ballot argument saying schools would be required to teach children there is no difference between gay marriage and traditional marriage. The judge said the argument was false, since "...children cannot be required to attend any health-related instruction, including instruction on the subject of marriage, against their parents' will." The judge cited California Education Code Section 51240.

That section of the code says:

51240. (a) If any part of a school's instruction in health conflicts with the religious training and beliefs of a parent or guardian of a pupil, the pupil, upon written request of the parent or guardian, shall be excused from the part of the instruction that conflicts with the religious training and beliefs.

Freedom is a Republican Value - Why Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger was against Prop 8

This video made by Republicans Against 8 gives reasons why Republicans who want less government interference should oppose Prop 8.

Yea or Nay on Prop 8? - Should Prop 8's ban on gay marriage be allowed to stand?

Yes or No on Proposition 8?

It was the California Supreme Court that legalized same-sex marriage for a short time in 2008. The court declared in that initial ruling that denying same-sex marriage violated the state constitution. Ironically, however, the same court that said the state should allow gay marriages later said it would not strike down Prop 8.

Why? You could simplify it by saying the justices were sticking with the language of the state constitution. Their 2008 ruling declared same-sex marriage should be legal because the state constitution said so. But Prop 8 amended the language of the constitution. So the appeal brought very different questions before the court.

The day after Prop 8 passed, several legal challenges were immediately filed. According to an Associated Press article at the time, "the lawsuits raise a rare legal argument: that the ballot measure was actually a dramatic revision of the California Constitution rather than a simple amendment. A constitutional revision must first pass the Legislature before going to the voters."

On November 10, 2008, the California Supreme Court agreed to hear the challenge and to decide several issues regarding the validity of Proposition 8. The court press release said three issues would be argued and decided:

1. Is Proposition 8 invalid because it is a revision of, rather than an amendment to, the state constitution?

2. Does Prop 8 violate the separation-of-powers doctrine under the California Constitution?

3. If Proposition 8 is not unconstitutional, what is its effect, if any, on the marriages of same-sex couples performed before the adoption of Proposition 8?

The court also ordered an expedited briefing schedule. Oral arguments in the case were heard on March 5, 2009. Two months later, in May, the Court refused to overturn the law, saying it was a lawful amendment to the state constitution, not a revision, so they would not strike it down. However, the Court also upheld the legality of the marriages performed before Prop 8 was passed.

Aug 2010 Update: Federal Judge Declares Prop 8 Unconstitutional

The first federal appeal

On August 4, 2010, the latest chapter in the Prop 8 saga was written by Chief Judge Vaughn Walker of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The judge concluded that the ballot measure was unconstituional.

"Proposition 8 does nothing more than enshrine in the California Constitution the notion that opposite-sex couples are superior to same-sex couples," he wrote. "Because California has no interest in discriminating against gay men and lesbians, and because Proposition 8 prevents California from fulfilling its Constitutional obligation to provide marriages on an equal basis, the court concludes that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional."

Despite the ruling, gay marriage will not resume immediately in California. The judge immediately issued a temporary stay to consider arguments about whether gay marriage should be allowed to take place while appeals continue. On August 12, he said the stay would remain in place until August 18 at 5 pm, giving opponents a chance to appeal the decision to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The appeals court upheld the stay without comment, but scheduled an expedited hearing for December 6.

You can read the text of Judge Walker's ruling declaring Prop 8 to be unconstitutional here on SFGate.

Jauary 2011 Update

Court of Appeals Waiting on CA Supreme Court for Clarification

In the latest legal twist to the Prop 8 drama, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments in December 2010 about the constitutionality of Proposition 8. The appeals court hasn't issued any rulings yet and won't until they hear from the California Supreme Court on a legal question - under California law, can the proposition's sponsor represent the people of the state of California?

As the San Francisco Chronicle explained, "Then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and ex-Attorney General Jerry Brown refused to appeal a federal judge's ruling in August that the measure unconstitutionally discriminated based on sexual orientation and gender. So the future of the case depends on whether Prop. 8's sponsor, a conservative religious coalition called Protect Marriage, has legal standing - the right to represent the interests of the state and its voters.

If not, the federal appeals court could uphold Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker's ruling and restore same-sex marriage in California - legalized briefly by a 2008 state Supreme Court ruling - without deciding whether Prop. 8 is constitutional."

Read more at SFGate.

On February 7, 2012, a three-justice panel from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals said that Proposition 8 was unconstitutional. In the 2-1 decision, the court said, "Proposition 8 served no purpose, and had no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California." The court, however, did not immediately lift the ban on same-sex marriage in California. The ban will remain in place while appeals are still pending. Prop. 8 proponents can now take their appeal to a larger panel of the Ninth Circuit or appeal to the US Supreme Court, which may or may not decide to hear the case.

Keith Olbermann on Gay Marriage

Keith Olbermann is an American sportscaster, news anchor, and political commentator. He hosts Countdown with Keith Olbermann, an hour-long nightly news and commentary program on MSNBC. In this commentary, he asks viewers to think about love.

Your opinions are welcome, no matter what side they may favor, so long as you present them in a polite and civil manner. Others will be deleted.

What Do You Think? - Please share your thoughts

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    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 3 years ago

      With the legalization of gay marriage in Illinois June 1, 2014: 18 countries, 19 US States and 8 Native American nations have marriage equality. Bout time.

    • profile image

      ChristyZ 5 years ago

      It's just upsetting that people are making gay marriage into such a big deal. At the risk of being stoned or hit over the head with a bible (and yes I believe in God) I absolutely believe that being gay is natural and not a choice. I've had many gay friends who struggled for many years, tried to become straight, went to church and prayed, etc., before they could finally accept who they were and could begin enjoying life. Why shouldn't everybody have the right to marry someone they love. I'm in Ontario, Canada where gay marriage is legal but have been keeping track of the American news.

    • profile image

      ratetea 5 years ago

      I feel strongly about giving same-sex couples legal rights equal to heterosexual couples. Whether or not to recognize same-sex marriage, in my opinion, is a private religious matter. I can respect people regardless of what position they hold on the religious status of these marriages. But I think it is problematic when people try to force their religious views on others. There is no demonstrated way in which allowing same-sex partnerships can harm society, so I think it is very problematic to deny them these rights. I like Maryland's recent way of handling it, which is that they legalized same-sex marriage in civil ceremonies, but also granted religious organizations and clergy the right to choose whether or not they will perform these ceremonies, on their own. This protects the legal rights of LGBT people, while also protecting people's religious views. It's a win-win if you ask me, and I wish more states would handle it this way.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      ok really, i come on the site and country music plays... r you kidding me what's wrong with you i came here to read not listen to music, my oppion is this site is stupid

    • MarcoG profile image

      Marc 5 years ago from Edinburgh

      Very provocative lens. I remember that Keith Olbermann comment, kind of chilling. Everyone deserves the right to lead their life as the next person, in partnership or not. Life's too short to hate and deny someone the simple things, like marriage and equality.

    • theenchantedlan profile image

      theenchantedlan 5 years ago

      I like this lens. It shows that at least some people care for equality and the separation between religion and state.

    • profile image

      EllipticalTrainersGuide 5 years ago

      Thanks for sharing. It is a shame there is so much hate in the world.

    • greenspirit profile image

      poppy mercer 5 years ago from London

      Err...the bible also says....Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you a holy day, a sabbath of rest to the Lord: whosoever doeth work therein shall be put to death. Ex. 20.8-11 ; 23.12 ; 31.15 ; 34.21 · Lev. 23.3 · Deut. 5.12-14 ....I could go on....'ll need to authorise a whole load of executions if you are going to base law on the old testament....

    • serendipity831 profile image

      Drake McSherry 5 years ago from Milwaukee, WI

      Thank you for sharing such a wonderfully written lens on a very important subject. I believe tolerance should be universal ,not whom you pick and choose as so many do in society. Everyone should be given the same rights. Those that want to hide behind a bible to defend their ignorance just show their true colors in the end.

    • profile image

      Kliedel 6 years ago

      No offense meant for those gays. But really our law originated from the bible and what the bible teaches should still be the basis of our living. Even at ancient times gays and lesbians have been condemned but since we are in a modern world they have been tolerated. But to every tolerance level there must be a limit- and I believe that is marriage.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      @Kliedel: Actually our law...or at least the law of this country abides to the constitution, which has an equal protection clause and separation of church from the state. You are not better than any other person and you are not more deserving of the right to be married. So stop acting like your making such a huge sacrifice by "tolerating them" this the 21st century after all and it's time you all got over yourself.

    • profile image

      Ricardoricardo 6 years ago

      I think it's time people put aside their prejudices and treated gay people as equal in every way. As long as people don't hurt one another they should be able to be whatever they are without fear of persecution,

    • profile image

      NaturesNurture 6 years ago

      This is an awesome lens. It hits very close to home because I have a gay daughter. We live in NY, fortunately, so she is now married and these remarkable young women, through the power of science, now have a beautiful baby boy. I still see so many people referring to homosexuality as a choice, or a lifestyle. My question to them is always the same - on what day did you get out of bed and decide to be straight? Google is your friend. Use it to research the latest research on homosexuality. Same sex marriage is a CIVIL right. Religion or willful ignorance has no part in determining our civil rights, thanks to our Consititution.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      This lens is wonderful support for LGBT equal marriage rights. I come from a very conservative, close-minded part of the United States, and being an open lesbian has been very difficult, especially when my partner and I have no rights and are not a legitimate couple according to the law in our home state and to most of the people living here. I recently published a similar lens about marriage equality voicing my passion on the subject as well. It is titled FREE LOVE. I hope you will check it out. It is such an important message to get across. Thank you for sharing and for the support.

    • profile image

      Andy-Po 6 years ago

      Great lens about a controversial subject.

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 6 years ago

      So glad that gay and lesbian people can now celebrate their Valentine's Day in an authentic, open way!

    • CruiseReady profile image

      CruiseReady 6 years ago from East Central Florida

      Interesting lens about a tricky subject.

    • CruiseReady profile image

      CruiseReady 6 years ago from East Central Florida

      Interesting lens about a tricky subject.

    • imthepoet profile image

      imthepoet 6 years ago

      Great lens. I feel much more informed on the issue now. I'm so glad Prop 8 was deemed unconstitutional. Now begins the countdown to when gay couples in California can marry again.

    • profile image

      jEsChrDs82 6 years ago

      This is a conflicting issue to me because of my religious upbringing. However, I have a strong belief in freedom of choice. I believe in equality and I'm against discrimination and I agree that denying gay marriage is a form of discrimination.

      constitution for kids

    • LisaDH profile image

      LisaDH 7 years ago

      @sheriangell: Thank you for the blessing!

    • sheriangell profile image

      sheriangell 7 years ago

      Very well done and blessed by a Culture & Society Angel today.

    • sheriangell profile image

      sheriangell 7 years ago

      Very well done and blessed by a Culture & Society Angel today.

    • best-intentions profile image

      best-intentions 7 years ago

      In my eyes, denying any two adults the choice of marriage is just as repulsive as any law that would require it. :) Thanks for taking the time to put together this lens!


    • profile image

      yourgoldenfuture 7 years ago

      here in Germany we are also fighting about the same-sex-marriages...what is now legally possible but not really reason for allowing it would be to give the partners their legal right of choice... no matter if we think its wrong... our constitutional laws protect the individuum... the morals is another topic...the religious views a third...

    • mich1908 profile image

      mich1908 7 years ago

      Thank you for this enlightening lense. Gay marriage is not spoken openly in my culture. It feels natural for a man and a woman to have a relationship and not otherwise. But then on the other hand, putting aside the gender issue, two human beings together in a committed relationship should not be subject to any discrimation nor denied their legal rights.

    • LisaDH profile image

      LisaDH 7 years ago

      @RuthCoffee: Not discriminating against someone based on sexual orientation is only a notion in some states. In many, you can still be denied housing or fired from your job simply for being gay. Thankfully, California is not one of those states, even if Prop 8 eventually stands and same-sex marriage is denied.

    • profile image

      manndtp 7 years ago

      If more than half of all "straight" marriages end in divorce within the first 5 years, what effect will "gay" marriages have on this. It's all a dollar and cents things to me. If they are two consenting adults with money in hand, give them a license. Then when they split up take their money again. End of story.

    • RuthCoffee profile image

      Ruth Coffee 7 years ago from Zionsville, Indiana

      What a hot topic for so many people. I'm not sure what happened to the notion that we don't discriminate based on race, gender, "sexual orientation", etc. Not allowing gay marriange is discrimination based on "sexual orientation".

    • Toolesque LM profile image

      Toolesque LM 7 years ago

      FANTASTIC Lens! Very well researched and thorough. I appreciate your thoughts and takes on the whole issue. I am one not gay person against Prop 8 among many many others. It's ridiculous and unnecessary. I have also written a shorter lens regarding this issue. Thanks for this lens I will Lensroll it!

    • LisaDH profile image

      LisaDH 8 years ago

      @anonymous: I agree that it's a very complex issue, and it would be better if both sides tried to find common ground. I appreciate your thoughtful, articulate and civil feedback.

      I personally don't understand how allowing same-sex couples to marry detracts from the word or one's religious beliefs. The point of faith is that you don't need anyone else's permission, proof or agreement to maintain your beliefs. The fact that there are atheists, agnostics and people of many different religions in the world who can all be married shouldn't (in my opinion, at least) detract in any way from a person's own private beliefs about marriage. But just because I don't understand how others feel about this word doesn't make my opinion the correct one.

      If the word is the big stumbling block to equal legal rights, I personally think it would be better to give up the word and get the rights instead. The Prop 8 challenge will probably get appealed to the US Supreme Court, and I can't see this court legalizing gay marriage by that name. My best hope is that the court will declare that there should be equal rights by any name. Having one legal standard that is valid across the entire nation (even if it's under two names) would put the issue to rest for most people.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      @LisaDH: Lisadh thank you for listening without judging. This is a very complex issue that both sides need to lose a little gay couples should be given the same rights, and just change the name of the union. I know this will get real ugly on both sides.

      You asked

      "Likewise, how does allowing gay couples to get "married" detract from the word?? Many cities, states and countries now allow gay marriage, and I don't see how it has affected the "sanctity of marriage."

      The problem is it dose take away from the meaning of ones religious belief in the sacredness of marriage. I could quote many passages from almost any modern religion where god explained about marriage.

      Now about laws concerning gay marriages

      Defense of Marriage Act

      U.S.C. § 7 : US Code - Section 7: Definition of "marriage" and "spouse"

      Now if the gay community believes they are not receiving the same freedoms and rights then that is what they need to fight for not a word.

    • LisaDH profile image

      LisaDH 8 years ago

      @anonymous: Dave, thanks for your comments. I've built this entire lens in favor of gay "marriage," but honestly, I have no problem with calling it something else. The funny thing about this entire argument is that one side is arguing about legal rights and one side is arguing about the meaning of a word.

      If every state allowed civil unions or domestic partnerships or some other form of gay "marriage" and those rights were portable from state to state and recognized by the federal government, I think there would be a lot less fighting over the word. Yes, some people would still want it and some people would still fight against it, but everyone would have the same rights. And that, in my mind, is more important.

      Under racial segregation laws, blacks and whites had to drink from separate water fountains, go to separate schools and sit in different parts of the bus. But a marriage license is a one-time thing. You get the license and the corresponding rights and responsibilities, but if you're sitting on a bus or drinking from a water fountain, it doesn't matter if you're married, single or in a legally sanctioned same-sex union by whatever name. Having the same legal rights under different names doesn't affect your daily living like racial segregation laws did.

      Yes, it might still be discriminatory to call it something else, but I'd rather have the legal rights than the word. Anyone - gay or straight - can walk into an LGBT-friendly church and get "married" in a "marriage" ceremony. But if the law doesn't recognize that ceremony, what good does the word do you?

      Likewise, how does allowing gay couples to get "married" detract from the word?? Many cities, states and countries now allow gay marriage, and I don't see how it has affected the "sanctity of marriage."

      The bottom line in my book is that any two consenting adults in a committed relationship should have the opportunity to be protected by and responsible to the same legal rights.

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      anonymous 8 years ago

      For those who don't know marriage was first a religious union demonstrating the couples commitment to each other and god. It hasn't been until recent years that society has taken god out of the commitment. Personally I agree with Prop 8, but that's not because i want to deny any rights to gay couples it is because of the sacredness that word once meant. I do agree our society has forgotten the true meaning behind the word marriage and the commitment behind it. I believe people fight so hard for prop 8 to remember that it is a religious ceremony. I don't however believe it deals with segregation. I believe the people are protecting the word and term. Now that being said i do not believe anyone would have a problem giving the legal rights of marriage to a gay couple, but they don't want to lose that term and the sacredness of it.

    • Kylyssa profile image

      Kylyssa Shay 8 years ago from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

      Thank you for this lens! I imagine our grandchildren will look back at this legislation with the same disgust and shame as we feel about the anti-miscegenation laws or segregation. Separate but equal is anything but. Equality comes only from fairness and when one group of people is treated unfairly there is equality for none.

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      ShadesofGay 8 years ago

      Thank you for this comprehensive lens. I hope that those who are against legalizing LGBT marriage read with an open mind and heart... discrimination is part of the reason that so many LGBT people kill themselves, and I have a hard time understanding how people can sanction such things.


    • LisaDH profile image

      LisaDH 9 years ago

      [in reply to LairMistress] Thanks for giving an update on what's happening in Washington!

    • LairMistress profile image

      Karen I Olsen 9 years ago from Seattle, WA USA

      Hi from Seattle! Great lens! Our state legislature is working on a measure granting most of the rights of marriage to same-sex couples, without calling their commitments "marriage". Of course, religious right types don't like this one, either (ours is the region currently afflicted with Ken Hutcherson and Joe Fuiten). It's becoming known as something like the "marriage in all but name" measure. Kind of confusing, though well-intentioned. Anyway, here's to Prop 8 being tossed out shortly! Despair not, nor surrender

    • MargoPArrowsmith profile image

      MargoPArrowsmith 9 years ago

      This is a comprehensive lens. Beautifully done.

      My Baptist Church has been doing ceremonies for years. When we started some people were afraid that it would keep straights from the church or worse that young families with kids would leave. Since we started doing it the church has flourished. We have straights and gays together on Sunday morning and throughout the week. And the population of young families with kids has multiplied.

      It is odd that some people are in favor of civil unions but not weddings. That is turned around. Gays can have weddings and get married, its the civil laws that they can't have.

      ***** and I would give more if I could.

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      anonymous 9 years ago

      The anti-Obama tirade can be heard every day on talk radio. There's no way to reason with that kind of thinking. I don't live in Calif., but I would have voted no. I have bigger concerns than a definition of marriage. Thanks for having the nerve to create this.

    • LisaDH profile image

      LisaDH 9 years ago

      [in reply to ThePhotographer] I'm not sure why this page on Proposition 8 has led to your opinions about Senator Obama, but even if he were a Muslim (which he's not), should that matter? I've known many fine Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Christians and people of many faiths, and those labels shouldn't matter nearly as much as their words and actions. All faiths teach love and tolerance. But not all people practice these values.

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      anonymous 9 years ago

      [in reply to ThePhotographer] I'm ashamed to be in the same profession as you. The current administration has NOT been in our best interests. At all. Nor the world's. Obama's not a moron, he's a man of character, integrity, and he WILL change the world! And I'm with him. I'm also against discrimination for our brothers and sisters. We are ALL EQUAL. No exceptions.

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      [in reply to ThePhotographer] I'm ashamed to be in the same profession as you. The current administration has NOT been in our best interests. At all. Nor the world's. Obama's not a moron, he's a man of character, integrity, and he WILL change the world! And I'm with him. I'm also against discrimination for our brothers and sisters. We are ALL EQUAL. No exceptions.

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      anonymous 9 years ago

      Yeah you moron, time for a Christian Country to go Socialist? That's a big change, how about if Obama gets removed by some stupid racist kkk member, then we will end up with Biden as president...That doesn't worry you? Wake up, Big Government IS nOT in Your Best Interest. It didn't work in Russia, Its not working in China and The fact that OBAMA is a muslim, means that the next stop on the "TOLERANCE TOUR" is the enactment of Sharia Law in the US ! That will really ruin your optimistic outlook wouldn't it. The dissolution of the constitution and the US joining with the EU as a major player! SO you think our freedoms are still intact? wait until the religious persecution starts a race war under Obamas rule. Since he wants to pull out of all muslim countries, and STOP the fight against Radical ISlam, just wait until the AlQuedas of the world regroup against us in retaliation for Iraq. The twin towers destruction was only a start, OBAMA is a SCARY CHOICE, Im not voting for that MORON!

    • californianative profile image

      californianative 9 years ago

      It's good to let people read the actual language of the court decision and the Education Code so they can make their own judgments about what Prop 8 proponents are saying.